Monday, June 24, 2024

2024 Canadian Grand Prix: Verstappen Takes Impressive Victory in Thrilling Wet-to-Dry Race

Max Verstappen took victory at the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix in a thrilling wet-to-dry race that delivered across all seventy laps. Lando Norris lost the lead because of a safety car, while George Russell was just a few tenths behind his fellow countryman at the line after having to play catchup after a few mistakes in the wet from pole position. 

Lewis Hamilton missed out on a podium to his teammate but secured fastest lap in what was Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team’s strongest showing of the season, while Lance Stroll scored points at his home Grand Prix, finishing behind his teammate, Fernando Alonso. It was a bad day for Scuderia Ferrari, with both cars retiring while Sergio Pérez was unable to celebrate his contract extension with any sort of points, also retiring from the race. Read all about the action below:

Russell managed to keep his lead going into turn one, ahead of Verstappen. Alonso and Hamilton also managed to get ahead of Daniel Ricciardo on lap one, with Visa Cash App RB once again having trouble getting off the line. 

Pierre Gasly and Pérez came together at Turn One, but the stewards thought it required no further investigation. The two Haas F1 Team cars were flying during the opening few laps, starting on the wet weather tyres with everyone else on the intermediates, Kevin Magnussen got himself into fourth but his pit stop onto the intermediates was eight seconds long on lap eight, because the tyres weren’t ready.

Leclerc was having issues with his engine – his engineer was reporting a loss of half a second on the straight. Carlos Sainz Jr. also lost positions. On Lap Six, Logan Sargeant went off track at Turn Six, but the American managed to get back running

Ricciardo got noted for a false start and was later given a five second penalty for the incident. Nico Hülkenberg was the second driver to pit and it was a better stop for Haas this time, with the German returning back onto track in nineteenth. 

Photo: Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

The track was starting to dry on Lap 16, but with more rain expected to come, everyone was managing their tyres rather than pitting onto slicks.

On Lap 20, Norris got past Verstappen for second place, with the pair enjoying a multi-lap battle before the McLaren driver completed the move. On Lap 21, Norris completed another overtake, getting past Russell for the race lead. The Mercedes driver made a mistake going through the chicane, being passed by Verstappen too. 

Sargeant spun on Turn Four, bringing out the safety car. All of the front runners pitted, Verstappen took the lead with Norris waiting an extra lap. The Miami Grand Prix winner fell behind Russell too, but managed to stay ahead of his teammate. Ricciardo also served his 5 second penalty under the safety car, coming back out out in tenth. 

Charles Leclerc pitted as the safety car ended on Lap 29, swapping his old intermediates for a new set of hard tyres, gambling. The gamble didn’t work out, with the Ferrari driver back in the pit just two laps later after losing a lot of time to everyone else on track.

Ricciardo and Ocon lost a place after the safety car with Alex Albon making a spectacular move on both drivers down the straight, before Russell reported the track was drying and the first pitstops for dry tyres came just a few laps later. Leclerc’s difficult race came to an end on lap 43, boxing to retire the car.

On Lap 44, Hamilton was the first of the front runners to box onto the dry tyres. Everyone was on the dry tyres on Lap 46, except Norris who stayed out on the intermediates. Norris pitted a lap later and came back out on track in third after struggling for traction coming out of the pits. There was another safety car on Lap 55 with Sainz spinning out onto the grass and then hitting Albon and ending both of their races.

On the lap before Sainz’s crash, Pérez’s race was also ended prematurely. The Mexican was chasing Ricciardo for twelfth but span on the exit of turn four, destroying his rear wing and retiring in the pits. Russell and Hamilton both boxed for fresh rubber under the safety car, before Verstappen got things back underway with 11 laps to go. Verstappen showed great pace following the safety car, extending his lead. The McLaren drivers were both vulnerable to the Mercedes drivers who pitted a few laps earlier.

Photo: Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Esteban Ocon got past Yuki Tsunoda on Lap 62 as he aimed to secure his best result of the season. Both RB’s were struggling after setting up their wings for a wet weather race in the dry conditions. 

On Lap 63, Russell and Oscar Piastri made contact causing the former to lose a position to Hamilton. Ricciardo was told in the last few laps that he was free to fight Tsunoda ahead of him as they both looked to chase Ocon in eighth. It was then Hamilton’s turn to try and overtake Piastri and unlike Russell, the seven time world champion managed to get past all while putting in the fastest lap. A lap later Russell then got past Piastri, putting the Australian down to fifth.

On Lap 66, Tsunoda went wide at Turn Eight, losing his position in the points. Ricciardo then made a pass on Ocon, for eighth before the Frenchman was overtook by his teammate going onto the final lap. Going into the final few laps, Russell sent a massive dive-bomb down in the inside of Hamilton at the final chicane to put him on the podium, which is where he would end the race.

Verstappen crossed the line in first with Norris behind and Russell just a few tenths behind the McLaren driver as they crossed the line.

Hamilton went from seventh to fourth in the race, and showed some excellent pace in the final stint to secure the fastest lap of the Grand Prix. Piastri fell away at the end, falling down to fifth behind both Mercedes cars. 

Alonso came home sixth with Stroll seventh and in the points for his home race – a good result for Aston Martin Armaco F1 Team after a tough few weeks. Ricciardo had an action packed race after starting fifth on the grid, the RB driver had to serve a 5 second penalty and missed out on doing the same strategy as his teammate but took advantage of errors ahead of him, while also overtaking Ocon with a few laps to go to secure eighth and his first points of the season in a Grand Prix, which will be a big relief for the Australian after criticism earlier in the weekend from Jacques Villeneuve.

Gasly and Ocon finished ninth and tenth to secure BWT Alpine F1 Team’s first double points of the season, ahead of Hülkenberg and Magnussen, who showed great pace in the early stages on the wet compound tyres. Valtteri Bottas took his best finish of the season in thirteenth, ahead of Tsunoda, who was running in the points until a mistake on the last few laps. Guanyu Zhou was last of the drivers that finished.

It was a bad day at the office for Ferrari, who failed to score points or even finish with both cars. It was a similar story for Williams Racing, although Albon was on to score points before being taken out through no fault of his own. It was another struggle of a weekend for Pérez as well, who failed to make an impression on the race before spinning and breaking his rear wing.

Red Bull extend their lead in both championships in Canada, before we head into the Spanish Grand Prix in two weeks, where the pecking order of the teams should get very interesting!

1 1 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT 70 1:45:47.927 25
2 4 Lando Norris MCLAREN MERCEDES 70 +3.879s 18
3 63 George Russell MERCEDES 70 +4.317s 15
4 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 70 +4.915s 13
5 81 Oscar Piastri MCLAREN MERCEDES 70 +10.199s 10
6 14 Fernando Alonso ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 70 +17.510s 8
7 18 Lance Stroll ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 70 +23.625s 6
8 3 Daniel Ricciardo RB HONDA RBPT 70 +28.672s 4
9 10 Pierre Gasly ALPINE RENAULT 70 +30.021s 2
10 31 Esteban Ocon ALPINE RENAULT 70 +30.313s 1
11 27 Nico Hulkenberg HAAS FERRARI 70 +30.824s 0
12 20 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 70 +31.253s 0
13 77 Valtteri Bottas KICK SAUBER FERRARI 70 +40.487s 0
14 22 Yuki Tsunoda RB HONDA RBPT 70 +52.694s 0
15 24 Zhou Guanyu KICK SAUBER FERRARI 69 +1 lap 0
NC 55 Carlos Sainz FERRARI 52 DNF 0
NC 23 Alexander Albon WILLIAMS MERCEDES 52 DNF 0
NC 16 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 40 DNF 0
NC 2 Logan Sargeant WILLIAMS MERCEDES 23 DNF 0